In the wake of Wednesday’s shocking allegation, a second woman has now accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment.
Speaking to Variety, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis (Reign, Genius), claims that Hoffman propositioned her for sex during a period of time in 1991, when the two were working together with Murray Schisgal on a potential film adaptation of A Darker Purpose. The alleged encounter left Gatsiounis “close to tears,” and this deeply troubling allegation comes only a day after Dustin Hoffman was forced to apologize for inappropriate behavior.
I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.
That statement from Hoffman emerged on November 1st, when The Hollywood Reporter’s revelations placed the actor under the spotlight – alongside Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and Harvey Weinstein, who have each been accused of sexual misconduct by scores of women and, in the case of Spacey, young men.
Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, meanwhile, was in her 20s at the time of the alleged incident – for the record, Hoffman was already the wrong side of 50 by ’91 – and here, she recounts the disturbing encounter that left her on the verge of tears.
I go in, and this time it’s, like, Dustin Hoffman’s really different. He says, ‘Before you start, let me ask you one question, Wendy, have you ever been intimate with a man over 40?’ I’ll never forget, he moves back, he opens his arms, and he says, ‘It would be a whole new body to explore.’ I’m trying to go back to my pitch, and I’m trying to talk about my play. Then Dustin Hoffman gets up and he says he has to do some clothing shopping at a nearby hotel, and did I want to come along? He’s like, ‘Come on, come to this nearby hotel.’
Murray Schisgal, who was reportedly present at both meetings between Hoffman and Gatsiounis, told Variety that he has “no recollection of this meeting, or of any of the behavior or actions described.”
For the second time in three days, Dustin Hoffman has been accused of harassment. The prominent Hollywood star is yet to release an official response to Gatsiounis’ claims, but we’ll update this article if and when that situation changes.